A free online guide to computer and website security for non-technical website owners has launched showing WordPress users how to improve the security of their sites.
Round Corner, Australia – May 16, 2017 /NewsNetwork/ —
With cybersecurity threats on the rise, a free online guide to computer and website security for non-technical website owners has launched showing WordPress users how to improve the security of their sites regardless of technical experience.
WordPress website owners and small businesses who want to learn how to improve all aspects of their online security now have access to a free online guide to computer and website security written especially for a non-technical audience.
With WordPress powering over a quarter of all websites worldwide, millions of small businesses face the risk of having their online security compromised by malicious activities of hackers, anonymous users, and bots spreading malware, ransomware, and other potentially disastrous viruses, which can strike anywhere in their system.
According to Martin Aranovitch of WPCompendium.org, “every website owner is responsible for learning the basics of how to improve their online security at all levels and not just hope that their web hosting company or web developer has this covered.”
Online security begins by making online users aware of all the areas they may be leaving themselves vulnerable to being attacked and showing them basic ways to protect themselves and their assets. Although the free security tutorials on WPCompendium.org are aimed mostly at owners of WordPress sites, the information contained in this comprehensive online guide is beneficial to all website owners, especially non-technical beginners, as these are divided into various sections that explain how to keep passwords, computers, software, web browsers, web servers, website data, files, and web content secure, protected, backed up, and up-to-date.
Over six years of experience have gone into writing, compiling, and presenting the information available on the site. The site emphasizes that business owners looking for ways to grow and operate their business securely online can rely on WPCompendium as a valuable source of reference. While information in books and printed media tend to become quickly outdated, the online articles, tutorials, and guides found on WPCompendium are regularly being added to and continually revised to provide up-to-date information.
Tutorials in the WordPress modules also include checklists and guides that can be downloaded and printed and links to additional resources for more advanced users. More information can be found on the WPCompendium.org site or by visiting: https://wpcompendium.org/wordpress-security-tutorials.
Contact Info: Name: Martin Aranovitch Email: email@example.com Organization: WPCompendium.org Address: PO Box 48, Round Corner, NSW 2158 Australia
Below are some important tips and useful information to keep in mind regarding keeping your computer protected from malware attacks.
Don’t Run More Than One Security Program At The Same Time
Running more than one antivirus program at the same time can potentially cause conflicts that affect PC performance. Don’t run more than one antivirus program at the same time. You will cancel out the protection afforded by these programs.
Keep Your Antivirus Definitions Updated
For the most part, your antivirus software can only protect your computer from known threats.
New malware and new viruses (i.e. unknown threats) are continually being developed and regularly unleashed on online users by hackers and malicious users.
Much like scientists working on developing medical vaccines, when antivirus companies discover, are notified and/or get hold of new harmful scripts and viruses, they work on quickly developing a way to protect your computer from being infected by these newly detected threats, and release the new protection methods as updated “definitions”.
Some companies release new definitions for their software on a weekly basis. It’s really important, therefore, to keep your antivirus software definitions regularly updated. Fortunately, most software programs let you set your computer to receive automatic antivirus definition updates.
If you have your computer turned off for a long time, make sure that one of the first things you do when you go back online is to update your definitions.
Configure Your Antivirus Settings To Perform Regular Full System Scans
Just as we recommend keeping your antivirus definitions updated, it’s also a good idea to perform full system scans of your computer on a regular basis, including email scans. Once again, most security software programs let you set up automated scans.
Only Download Software Programs From Trusted Sites
Downloading files and software from unsecured and untrustworthy sites is one of the main ways computers get infected with malware. Sites can be very appealing, and entice users with “free” downloads, such as games, videos, screensavers, ringtones, cheats, money-making “secrets”, and even free WordPress plugins and themes.
If in doubt about the trustworthiness of a website, look for the following signs:
The site displays a secure connection in your browser address bar. Look for a secure connection (e.g. ‘https://’ insted of ‘http’) and a security symbol, like a padlock, etc. Secured sites should change from the http:// prefix to https:// or shttp:// when you are prompted to type in a user name and password. Note, however, that just because a site transmits data securely, it doesn’t mean it has a good reputation. See the other indicators below for additional signs to look for.
The site displays a trust certificate from a reliable organization (e.g. Better Business Bureau).
The site is the official website of a popular brand or name (e.g. eBay, Google, Amazon, etc).
Search for website reviews. Type in “name of site + review” (e.g. “xyz.com review”) into Google and go through some of the results to see what other users experiences with that site have been. Alternatively, type in “name of site + scam” (e.g. “xyz.com scam”) and see if anything comes back.
Look for suspicious activity. Be wary of sites that ask for personal information for no good reason. If you’re not buying anything, you don’t need to give any information away.
Links sent through email. Classic ‘phishing’ emails purport to come from well-known sites (e.g. ‘paypal.com’) but when links are hovered over with the mouse, they show a completely different domain name as the destination address. Unless you know and trust the sender, be wary of phishing scams and try to avoid clicking on website links in emails as much as possible.
Sales letters that seem to be too good to be true. You know the old saying, “if it seems to good to be true …”
Install A Security Toolbar
Many antivirus and antispyware programs offer the option of installing a toolbar on your browser with security features as an additional line of defense …
Many security toolbars include features that block pop-ups, spam, and known phishing sites. Some can even detect potential consumer scams and warn you when you visit a suspicious site.
Can’t I Just Use A Firewall To Protect My Computer From Malware?
While we recommend using a firewall, the main purpose of a firewall is to stop other people from breaking into your system or computer network remotely. A firewall can’t stop malware from infecting your computer if you have allowed it to come in (e.g. by opening up a malicious attachment, or downloading infected files to your hard drive.
Why Not Just Use My ISP’s Antivirus?
Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) and free email providers offer some form of antivirus protection at the server level. While it’s great to have this added layer of protection, server-level antivirus programs can’t protect your computer from getting infected by malware downloaded from infected or malicious websites.
Create Separate User Accounts
It’s a good idea to create user accounts separate from the default administrator account, especially if you work from home, and other members of your family access your computer. By keeping admin and user accounts separate, you only need to log in as the administrator when changes to the computer are required. This minimizes the frequency of accessing the admin account, which limits opportunities or hacking.
You may also want to create an individual user account for each member of your family who uses the computer. This will allow each person to keep his or her information private.
Don’t Share Files With People You Don’t Know
Sharing files can allow a hacker to look at information stored on your computer or plant a virus to infect your computer. Learn about the risks of file sharing, and learn how to disable file sharing on your operating system to prevent these risks. If a file sharing program is installed on your computer, be sure that it does not run automatically when you boot up your computer.
Delete Unused Software Programs
Programs that you no longer use are usually not updated and may not have the security patches that could stop a hacker from accessing your computer. Back them up to an external drive and then delete/uninstall these programs from your machine.
Read The Software License Agreement
Before installing any downloaded software, review the End-User License Agreement (EULA). This is the legal contract between a software application author or publisher and the user of that application. Many free downloads come with spyware and other programs that you would not want installed on your computer. By reading the software agreement carefully, you will be able to find out if the software you are installing comes with any “hidden” extras.
Don’t Use Unlicensed Software
Pirated software is illegal, and sites that distribute illegal software are often loaded with malware. Unlicensed software can also be susceptible to viruses and incompatible with updates and patches designed to fix vulnerabilities in the software. Some unlicensed software copies may even come with viruses pre-installed.
Don’t Install Unknown Devices Into Your Computer
If you find a USB drive that does not belong to you, do not plug it into your computer, as it may be a trap for unsuspecting users to test their curiosity and could deliberately contain viruses. Treat it like any lost public property and hand it over to an authority or to the police.
What To Do If All Else Fails
If you suspect that malware is affecting your computer, stop any online activities that involve usernames, passwords, or other personal information immediately. Scan your computer with an antivirus software and delete anything that the program finds to be suspicious. If the problem is not resolved call for professional technical help from a computer security services company, repair shop, or your computer manufacturer.
If despite all of your efforts to keep your computer secure, you end up discovering that your computer has become badly infected, you may end up having no choice but to perform a complete reinstall of your computer operating system and restore your data from a previous backup. This is why it’s so important to have a computer backup system in place before disaster strikes.
To learn more about creating a computer backup system, see the tutorial below:
Making sure that your computer is free of spyware, malware, and virus infections is vitally important to your online security. There’s no point securing your WordPress site if a keylogger is installed on your computer and can send your password and login details to hackers.
Antispyware / AntiVirus Protection
Anti-spyware programs combat spyware by providing real-time protection, scanning, and removal of any spyware software found on your computer. Antivirus software performs a similar function, but it looks instead for viruses, worms, and trojans, mostly sent to you via email.
Tip: Make sure that any antispyware programs you install on your computer are authentic. Unfortunately, some programs marketed as free spyware detectors will actually install spyware on your computer. It’s best to stick with antispyware software from reputable and trusted manufacturers.
Below are some of the most widely-used and trusted computer protection software programs available to help keep your computer free of malware, spyware, viruses, etc…
Some of the programs listed below are available as a standalone software package, and others are available as part of an integrated security solution. Many security companies offer free or trial versions of their products
We recommend investing in a reliable commercial antispyware/antivirus program for maximum protection against malware and to prevent and eliminate spyware and viruses from infecting your computer system.
Microsoft Windows has a free security program called Microsoft Security Essentials that works in the background to protect your PC. It checks for updates automatically a few times a day and doesn’t slow your PC down while it works …
The program is easy to use and allows you to see if your computer is secure from threats using a very simple system – if the icon next to your computer clock is green, everything’s good; if it’s red, then something is wrong and needs immediate attention …
Clicking on the icon will then open up an alert window notifying you of the problem, and giving you options to fix the issue or potential threat …
Microsoft Security Essentials is available as a free download …
To download this software program, visit the site below:
Ad-Aware is one of the world’s most downloaded security software programs. It immediately detects malware before it harms your PC, scans your download files before they have a chance to inflict damage, and automatically protects your computer from the latest threats and the newest malware being distributed through bad URLs and malicious websites.
Ad-Aware is available in different versions (see below).
To learn more about the Ad-Aware software products, visit the sites below:
Spybot Search & Destroy is a free and constantly updated antispyware utility that targets adware, malicious code and other threats. Spybot isn’t a replacement for a full antivirus program, but it can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer and remove some other threats.
You can use the adware and malware scanner to regularly check your system. Spybot has been around for years, and so offers users plenty of resources like tutorials, FAQs, how-tos, forums, etc.
To learn more about the Spybot software product, visit the site below:
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more. There is also a Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO version that provides constant protection and helps to automatically prevent malware from reinfecting your PC.
To learn more about Malwarebytes, visit the site below:
Avast is one of the most downloaded and highly recommended Antivirus programs available. It’s a complete security tool that protects you from all threats – Internet, email, local files, peer-to-peer (P2P) connections, instant messages, and more. Avast also has a “heuristics engine” that can detect previously unknown viruses and other malware.
To learn more about Avast security software, visit the site below:
Kaspersky Lab is one of the fastest growing security companies in the world and has a mission to provide the world’s most effective, responsive and efficient protection against cyber-threats for all online users. Free virus scans and free trials of security products are available from the Kaspersky site
To learn more about Kaspersky security products, visit the site below:
Bitdefender provides a range of security software solutions that are easy to set up and configure. The Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition program uses very little system resources, so it won’t slow down your computer. It also provides constant virus protection (also called on-access or resident protection) for free, which makes it a viable alternative to paid solutions from companies that charge for their software and for yearly access to updates (e.g. McAfee, Norton, etc…).
To learn more about Bitdefender security products, visit the site below:
Symantec’s Norton range of software products provides comprehensive security protection for computers (and mobile devices). Norton products are available as standalone packages or as a ‘one-in-all’ security solution. For example, Norton 360 is easy to install and provides complete computer security by integrating antispyware, antivirus, and firewall protection …
To learn more about Symantec’s range of security products, visit the site below:
If you are interested in comparing how different antivirus software programs perform, the AV-TEST Institute is a leading international and independent service provider in the fields of IT security and anti-virus research. They independently examine free and paid antivirus programs and rank them for protection, repair, and usability. …
As antivirus programs are regularly updated, AV-TEST updates the latest test results every few months.
To view detailed test reports for antivirus programs, visit the AV-TEST site below:
Firewalls are an important part of your overall online security strategy. A Firewall analyzes traffic data (known as ‘packets’) before it is allowed into your computer and makes sure that it is not malware.
A firewall is like a security guard standing outside a busy nightclub. Its main job is to check everyone coming in while also keeping any undesirables out.
To learn more about using firewalls, see the relevant section in the tutorial below:
Below we have listed a number of software-based firewall programs you may want to look into for protecting your computer from external attacks. Most simple two-way firewalls ask you to allow or deny Internet access to unknown programs. Many automatically allow trustworthy apps and remember your decisions to become silent over time.
Microsoft Windows comes with a built-in firewall program. We recommend choosing an alternative firewall solution, however, as these tend to offer easier control of outbound protection and additional features.
If you plan to install a third-party firewall solution, make sure to disable the Microsoft Firewall first, as having two firewalls running simultaneously will create problems.
To do this, click on the ‘Start’ button (the Windows icon located on the bottom left-hand corner of your screen) …
Choose ‘Control Panel’ …
Click on ‘System and Security’ …
Click on ‘Windows Firewall’ (or ‘Check firewall status’) …
From the menu, select ‘Turn Windows Firewall on or off’ …
Here you can turn Windows Firewall on, or off (not recommended unless you are installing a third-party firewall program) …
Note: Some security programs will override your system’s default settings to prevent conflicts from happening. Depending on the security product you have installed, you should see a notification that your security settings are being managed or overridden by the program you have installed …
Comodo is a robust firewall software solution that consistently scores highly in security tests and security expert reviews.
Comodo includes a “memory firewall” (protects against buffer overflow attacks) and a “sandbox” component that limits unknown applications and new software installations from affecting your computer. If an unknown application attempts to enter your computer via the firewall, Comodo will deny the application and ask you what to do. Comodo’s firewall software application for Windows is available as a free download.
To learn more about Comodo Firewall, visit the site below:
ZoneAlarm is a simple and user-friendly firewall application. ZoneAlarm is currently installed on over 80 million computers and offers advanced firewall protection that monitors programs for suspicious behavior spotting and stopping new attacks that bypass traditional anti-virus protection.
ZoneAlarm offers a free download of the software with certain conditions (e.g. individual and not-for-profit use).
To learn more about ZoneAlarm, visit the site below:
Private Firewall is a feature-packed firewall solution made available as unrestricted freeware. It provides a multi-layer security solution that includes behavior blocking technology, standard firewall protection, virus, spyware, and malware protection, process and application security, registry protection and more.
Additionally, there are many configurable settings, allowing you to set different security levels for Internet access and computer network security (ie. file and printer sharing) and configure different profiles (e.g. Home, Office, and Remote). Private Firewall is a very effective firewall program, but it is aimed primarily at slightly more advanced users.
To learn more about PrivateFirewall, visit the site below:
In addition to the products listed above, we recommend that you search online for user and technology reviews and do your own thorough research and due diligence before investing in a security software program.
As well as enabling firewalls on your computer and other devices in your network, you can also add a firewall to your WordPress site, using plugins.
You can search for Firewall plugins inside your WordPress dashboard (Plugins > Add New), or the WordPress Plugin Directory …
(WordPress Plugins – Firewall)
Search the WordPress Free Plugin Directory for firewall plugins below:
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